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£55,000 to fund redevelopment of King Edward Mine Museum near Camborne
6:00am Thursday 5th December 2013 in News
Plans for the redevelopment of King Edward Mine Museum near Camborne have been awarded initial support, including a £55,100 development grant, from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
Cornwall Council has been awarded the development funding to help it progress plans to apply for a further £800,000 from the HLF in the future.
The redevelopment project, costing £1.4m in total, will aim to create a new exhibition space in the former Boiler House and adapt the derelict Assay Office to build a café on the Great Flat Lode that passes through the site.
Both buildings are on English Heritage’s Heritage at Risk Register. Under the Council’s plans, the project will also see the refurbishment the Mill and other core museum buildings to safeguard the mine complex and the historic collections contained on the site.
Alongside the conservation works, the project includes funding to encourage more people, especially families, to visit the mine and surrounding area of the Great Flat Lode and to learn more about the local heritage and historic landscape. Two new posts will also be created to support this work and there will be a range of opportunities for volunteering.
“We are very grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for their vote of confidence in the plans that we have presented for the enhancement of King Edward Mine Museum,” said Councillor Julian German, Cornwall Council cabinet member for economy and culture.
“In 2009 the Council purchased King Edward Mine to safeguard it, recognising the potential threat to this internationally important heritage site when Camborne School of Mines gave up their lease. Over the last few years we have worked with KEM Ltd, the site operators who have tirelessly striven to protect the heritage site, to develop a master plan for the site. With the funding we have secured from Europe, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Challenge Fund we are now confident that King Edward Mine will have a viable future.”
Nerys Watts, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said; “King Edward Mine is the oldest complete early 20th century mine site left in Cornwall and an important reminder of the area’s long and proud mining heritage.
“Today’s initial HLF support marks a great first step and will enable Cornwall Council to work up plans for this exciting and engaging project. We look forward to working with them over the coming months.”
King Edward Mine, the former home of Camborne School of Mines, was bought by Cornwall Council in 2009. The Museum is leased to KEM Ltd, a local charity whose volunteers have expertly restored and brought back into working order much of the tin processing machinery and have created an award-winning museum with very limited resources.
The site is recognised as having Outstanding Universal Value as the best preserved mine within the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site (WHS) for the pre-1920 period. The entire complex is within the WHS and includes sixteen buildings listed Grade II* and South Condurrow Stamps Engine House which is listed Grade II. announcement that Council had also secured a grant of over £1m from the ERDF Convergence Programme to turn two redundant buildings on the site into workspaces for the creative industries.
“The KEM Preservation Group was set up 25 years ago with the approval of Camborne School of Mines who were then still occupying some of the buildings,” said Tony Brooks, Chairman of KEM Ltd. “
After they moved to Penryn, CSM found that they were unable to sustain a field station at KEM. We then took over the whole site and the surrounding 20 acres of mine land.
“The volunteer team have done a fantastic job in developing the museum. We are delighted that this work has been recognised by the award of this grant. It will ensure the future of a number of important buildings, put the heritage site on a firmer footing and will also give us the opportunity to broaden the appeal of the museum to a wider, younger audience.
"Mining in Cornwall, or at least West Cornwall, has shaped the county both physically and socially. With mining now sadly becoming a memory, it will be places like King Edward Mine where people will be able to connect with Cornwall’s industrial past.”
The Challenge Fund, administered by the Architectural Heritage Fund, provided the first piece of the funding jig-saw puzzle for this project.
Councillor Robert Webber, Cornwall Council local member for Camborne Treslothan said: “I very much welcome the announcement of this award from the Heritage Lottery Fund to enhance the visitor experience at King Edward Mine, conserving these internationally significant buildings and creating destination café that will bring more leisure visitors to the area and provide a great facility for the local community to use. King Edward Mine is a remarkable survival and this project will encourage more people, especially families, to come and enjoy this award-winning museum.”
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